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A Heart For God: What If Oprah IS a Christian?

Friday, June 03, 2011

What If Oprah IS a Christian?

One of the biggest television show superstars has finally called it quits. It's been an astounding 25 years for "The Oprah Winfrey Show," but it's now officially over. After some 30,000 guests, 4,500+ episodes and 48 Daytime Emmys, Oprah is moving on. She's starting a new venture that includes her own TV station.

And much has been made of Oprah's (quote) "Christianity" over the years and even now. The very last words on her last show, "To God be the glory," even seem to indicate a belief in Christ(?)

And so let's just say Oprah IS a Christian for the sake of discussion.

And let's just add to that the following two possible scenarios (whether you're Oprah or somebody else)...

The first is scenario is you're living for Jesus. It's apparent by your words and actions that you love the Lord ~ that you're surrendered to Christ alone and to nothing and no one else.

The second scenario (is obvious?): You're not living for Jesus. You're not surrendered to Christ alone. You say you're a "Christian," but your words and actions say something totally different.

It happened in the church at Corinth long ago. The following: A certain person who was a "Christian"(?) and welcomed among the brethren was living an immoral lifestyle. (1 Corinthians 5:1) To compound the problem, the church and its leaders allowed the person to continue without confrontation or rebuke. The Apostle Paul was up in arms over this (to put it mildly). (1 Corinthians 5:2-8) In his response he commanded how to deal with the "believer" (of the second scenario above): He must not be associated with as a "Christian," but as an unbeliever. (1 Corinthians 5:9-13; Matthew 18:17b)

Intepreted? We must call "sin" what it is. You can't portray yourself as a follower of Christ and say there is more than one way to heaven aside from Jesus and not be called on it. (No matter who you are!) What's happened to us as preachers? We are more concerned with the acceptance of the crowd (with building "mega-churches" and selling books) than the acceptance of Christ.

The goal of the enemy during these last days is to water down the Gospel. And so he infiltrates the church with false prophets, teachers ~ and so-called "believers." (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) It's how he will bring about the great apostasy / falling away ~ and is already doing it. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?" (2 Corinthians 13:5)

"'And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.'" (Acts 4:12)

(flickr picture by alan-light)

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Blogger Andy C said...

Thanks for the thoughtful post Mike. I can't help thinking though that Christians seem to spend an inordinate amount of time arguing about who is and who is not a Christian, especially amongst celebrities and public figures. If we would invoke the label "Christian", then it might be helpful to look in Acts where we see in Antioch the term was first applied by outsiders looking in, probably in a derisive way. What do outsiders see when they look at us today?

By all means we should speak clearly and unambiguously. Then we should test how we declare the "Gospel". Start with translating that word. The bible has been carefully translated word for word. What purpose does it serve to leave the word gospel un-rendered into plain English - "good news". Now test what those outsiders hear when we speak. Is it good news? Does it make them feel guilty or joyful, mired in their mistakes, or set free from judgement. Conviction, after all is the work of the Spirit of God. Our work is sharing good news. I don't mean good news like, "you've won the lottery". Rather like, "the tornado has spared your home", or "the hurricane that swept through may have destroyed all you own, but your family is safe and sound", or "the earthquake left you trapped, buried in rubble until rescuers saved your life". We've forgotten what good news is. Forget judging celebrities and those who follow after fame - remember instead how you felt when the Chilean miners were set free. Proclaim the truth in that manner and your SEO standings will skyrocket more that labeling your blog post with the Oprah brand will ever do.

10:28 AM  

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